When I came off my strict diet for the Sleek Geek challenge, I found myself picking up some weight again. I put back on 3 of the 13kgs I lost. While I was contemplating my options for halting the slide back to my original weight, I received a call from iHealth Meals. They wanted to know if I would be interested in testing their service for a month.
iMeals delivers diet aware, calorie controlled meals to your door every day (except weekends). It sounded like the solution to my problem so I accepted.
I must admit that for the first week I wasn’t convinced of the usefulness of the service but by the end of the month I was really starting to like the convenience of not having to go grocery shopping, not having to prepare food and not having to stress about eating healthy.
The daily meals would be dropped off at about 4pm the day before. One can choose how many meals one wishes to receive. The maximum is 5 (3 meals and 2 snacks). The main benefit of having all the meals delivered is (apart from the convenience) that iMeals can more carefully monitor your calorie intake. If you are only having one meal delivered and the rest of the day you are eating badly, you won’t see much benefit (in terms of weight loss/gain, health, etc).
So if you’re trying to lose weight, this is a good way of making sure you’re consuming the right number of calories. iMeals will tailor your menu to suit you (gender, weight, health issues, etc) and your needs/goals. In my case I wanted to lose weight so we opted for the low carb meal plan. I was impressed with the results because I was still eating out occasionally and I lost about 1kg per week during that month, and also about 1% of body fat per week.
While the meals were calorie controlled, I was certainly never hungry. The portions are bigger than you would think they should be for a weight loss diet, but they obviously know what they are doing because it worked!
While the staples are obviously chicken and fish, they are prepared in a variety of ways. You won’t find yourself eating the same meal within a week (apart from breakfasts and snacks which are pretty standard). Some of the meals were delicious, others not as great. But you can go online and choose your meals, although you have to be careful not to choose only the nice ones and thereby mess with the calorie control.
The owner of iHealth Meals, also owns Future Fitness, which offers electro muscle stimulation (EMS). So they asked me to test it out at the same time. I was quite skeptical, but I’m happy to try things, so I agreed.
The EMS training involves attaching an outfit with electrodes (actually I don’t know what they are called but they transmit the electricity into your various muscles). This is then attached to a machine which controls the intensity of the charge for the various muscle groups. All of the electrodes activate at once, and are active for 4 seconds, then you have 4 seconds of rest.
While the electricity is making your muscles flex the instructor gets you to do some basic exercises like squats and bicep curls, etc (without weights). They are incredibly difficult to do because you’re fighting against your muscles. The session is only 20 minutes long but by the end I was exhausted and sweaty. I don’t know if the EMS was effective because I only did a few sessions, not enough to see a difference. It may have assisted my weight loss but that could have just been the diet. The trainer told me that they have seen amazing results with everyone that uses it and that it is used extensively in Europe and by professional athletes and physiotherapists around the world. It’s nothing like the little machine you see advertised by Verimark for your abs, and it’s not a replacement for workouts but rather a supplement (sorry to disappoint you lazy bones, there are no shortcuts!).
What I can tell you was that I was stiff for a week afterwards. I’ve never been that stiff, even after my most hardcore weights workouts. So it must have made my muscles work. Apparently because it activates much more muscle fibres than a normal workout, it’s very effective.
Future Fitness have just opened their studio at the V&A Clock Tower (1st Floor, Shop 106). So you have the option of having an instructor bring the machine to your home or training at the studio.
Follow these links for more information on iHealth Meals and Future Fitness.